U.S. Markets open in 9 hrs 26 mins

Is Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc.'s (NYSE:HLX) CEO Pay Fair?

Simply Wall St

In 2008 Owen Kratz was appointed CEO of Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. (NYSE:HLX). First, this article will compare CEO compensation with compensation at similar sized companies. After that, we will consider the growth in the business. Third, we'll reflect on the total return to shareholders over three years, as a second measure of business performance. This process should give us an idea about how appropriately the CEO is paid.

View our latest analysis for Helix Energy Solutions Group

How Does Owen Kratz's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

According to our data, Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. has a market capitalization of US$1.3b, and paid its CEO total annual compensation worth US$5.8m over the year to December 2018. We think total compensation is more important but we note that the CEO salary is lower, at US$700k. We further remind readers that the CEO may face performance requirements to receive the non-salary part of the total compensation. We looked at a group of companies with market capitalizations from US$1.0b to US$3.2b, and the median CEO total compensation was US$4.0m.

As you can see, Owen Kratz is paid more than the median CEO pay at companies of a similar size, in the same market. However, this does not necessarily mean Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. is paying too much. We can get a better idea of how generous the pay is by looking at the performance of the underlying business.

You can see a visual representation of the CEO compensation at Helix Energy Solutions Group, below.

NYSE:HLX CEO Compensation, November 11th 2019

Is Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. Growing?

Over the last three years Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. has grown its earnings per share (EPS) by an average of 123% per year (using a line of best fit). Revenue was pretty flat on last year.

This demonstrates that the company has been improving recently. A good result. Revenue growth is a real positive for growth, but ultimately profits are more important. Shareholders might be interested in this free visualization of analyst forecasts.

Has Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. Been A Good Investment?

Since shareholders would have lost about 10% over three years, some Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. shareholders would surely be feeling negative emotions. It therefore might be upsetting for shareholders if the CEO were paid generously.

In Summary...

We compared the total CEO remuneration paid by Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc., and compared it to remuneration at a group of similar sized companies. Our data suggests that it pays above the median CEO pay within that group.

However, the earnings per share growth over three years is certainly impressive. However, the returns to investors are far less impressive, over the same period. One might thus conclude that it would be better if the company waited until growth is reflected in the share price, before increasing CEO compensation. If you think CEO compensation levels are interesting you will probably really like this free visualization of insider trading at Helix Energy Solutions Group.

Important note: Helix Energy Solutions Group may not be the best stock to buy. You might find something better in this list of interesting companies with high ROE and low debt.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.